See you later, farewell, au revoir, and goodnight: After an 18 year love affair littered with what seemed like win after win, Audi have decided to hang up their hat and wave goodbye to the endurance racing programme with yet another victory.
Lining up for the final time at the 6 Hours of Bahrain on Saturday, Audi’s two LMP1 entries edged clear of the rest of the field, with the #8 car of Loic Duval, Lucas di Grassi and Oliver Jarvis taking the chequered flag after a hard-fought, 201-lap season finale.
Andre Lotterer, Marcel Fassler and Benoit Treluyer finished second in the #7 Audi, while Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and the retiring Mark Webber claimed the final podium position in the #1 Porsche.
“There’s no sweeter way to end such a project than with a one-two victory,” said Audi Motorsport head Wolfgang Ullrich. “It was a very emotional race and the entire FIA WEC made it very difficult for us to quit.
“Today, you could tell that we’ve grown into a big family over many years. Now, we’re going to look ahead, giving our all in our new projects, just like we’ve come to be known.”
Audi actually missed out on both the drivers’ and manufacturers’ championships this season but victory in this the final race of the season proved a fitting tribut to their dominance in the sport for nearly two decades.
The German marque first entered the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1999 and secured its maiden victory at Circuit de La Sarthe one year later, going on to win 13 of the 17 editions of the iconic race this side of the millennium.